Nikola Jokic is establishing his name among the all-time greats with every season that passes. Jokic won his second consecutive MVP award last season and is expected to make a deep run in the 2023 playoffs with the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Outside of reaching the NBA Finals, Jokic has done almost everything he can.
There are very few big men in NBA history that possess the level of skill Jokic does, who is already called the greatest passer at his size. Kendrick Perkins drew comparisons between Jokic and 2-time champion Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the greatest centers of all time.
"I actually think Jokic is the most or one of the most skilled big men ever to play the game. I'm comparing him up there with Hakeem Olajuwon. I already feel like he's the best passing big man. Some people are saying, oh, Jokic is not that great of a defender. Well, those people are wrong. He's pretty agile when it comes to switching pick and rolls, and he's pretty good in actual drop coverage in the pick and roll. He's good at relocating his man, things to that nature, you know, and I watch him, and I say, you know what, his IQ is probably one of the best in the game."
Is Nikola Jokic Already An All-Time Great?
When it comes to the legacies of players and how they are looked back on, a championship will be crucial for Jokic to establish himself as an all-time great in one of the most competitive positions historically.
Not only is Jokic trying to unseat Hakeem, but there is also a whole laundry list of centers that many would still consider better than Jokic like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, and many others.
All these centers won championships as the primary option on their team, so until Jokic can also do that, he will not receive the respect he deserves from an all-time ranking perspective. In terms of his skill, it is inarguable that Jokic is one of the best the game has ever seen at that size.